UP team crowned ‘global champion’ in Shell’s CO2 emission reduction in autos

Published January 3, 2021, 6:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Students from the University of the Philippines (UP) scored prestigious victory in the global competition on tracking and reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from vehicles, a contest for the youth that has multinational energy giant Royal Dutch Shell as its sponsor and prime mover.

As formally announced by Shell recently, “a team of students from the University of the Philippines had been crowned global champions of Shell’s Pitch The Future competition.”

The event spotlighted series of competitions that brought together student-teams from various countries globally “to tackle real-world energy challenges.”

Photo of “UP Alamat” Team in Shell Global Competition.

The “Alamat UP” team, in particular, won the “Tracking and Reducing CO2 Emissions from Vehicles” challenge, an endeavor supported by Microsoft.  The team amalgamated students from various disciplines in the country’s top-notch university.

In a statement to the media, Shell noted that “for the challenge, the team had to design an inclusive system prototype that can be fitted into a passenger vehicle to track and virtually share CO2 emissions from cars globally.”

The entry of the UP students similarly provides “suggestions on how to reduce emissions from driving,” and they also presented their ideas live to a panel of industry experts.

 “More than 130 teams from across Asia, Europe and the Americas submitted entries for one or more ‘Pitch for the Future’ challenges,” Shell said, adding that a total of 13 teams were selected to advance to the finals in four challenge categories – with three finalists in each category and a wild card entry for best newcomer team in e-mobility (electric mobility) challenge.

It was in “Tracking and Reducing CO2 Emissions from Vehicles” category wherein the UP Alamat team had been crowned “global champion” – and the challenges included electric vehicle battery recharging with Shell Recharge; decarbonizing the home with Shell Energy; and decarbonizing road freight transport with Shell Lubricants.

Norman Koch, global general manager of Shell Eco-marathon, asserted that the UP team “brought great energy, innovative thinking and creativity to the competition and the judges were extremely impressed with their idea.”

The Shell Eco-marathon race, which had been running for several decades already, carried on with the competition this year despite the hurdles posed by the global pandemic.

 “The team at Shell worked tirelessly to ensure it could go ahead in the ‘new normal’ and allow students from around the world to apply their STEM skills and passion to some of the world’s most pressing energy challenges,” Koch said.

The Shell Eco-marathon primarily advances efficient use of fuel in vehicles that will then subsequently reduce carbon footprints in mobility and in the transport sector overall. It has been tapping participants from the academe so the next generation could be prepped for what’s ahead in modern transport systems and how the dilemmas of the energy sector could be addressed, specifically the distressing impact of global warming.